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Adharma of opposition politics Solar thermal shines… Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Building loyalty through the stomach Mu Sigma – is no more Editor's Notes Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL CII projects higher growth… The why of tax incentives The brown list of Venkitaramanan An enemy’s enemy is a friend Come elections, come advertisements... A yen for wastage… Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... London, London Narayan No engine for this car When the President was rendered homeless… Kudos to NDTV... Delhi is distant Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Cement prices continue to rise… F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Music happens Small units prefers to remain small... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai TGS- The king storyteller Gas is the way forward Make standards certification mandatory... Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ PC’s preference for professionals Editor's Says For whom the MIDS bell tolls? Put expensive assets created to use... Another Indian music maestro at the UN Haul over the coal Sweeter prospects for sugar TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Airlines in India: cost and space Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Quality education through the PPP mode Fuel for thought Convulsions in The Hindu There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Streamlining mandatory third party cover L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Preserving for the future More Shakthi to Das’ elbow No Maha Koottani in TN... Valli, they are more marginalised Tatas moving out of urea production... Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Noble nonagenarians... The star of Spencers is no more A more liberated TN… Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel For whom the bell tolls? Multi-faceted Venkat R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital IPL - no surprise this scam Tough task taking states together TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector He continues the focus on social amelioration Moily’s bold thrust MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways The balancing act Shanti and Sadhana through Music …and of a popular trade leader When Ratan Tata visited SRM Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School Excel Generators provide the vital back-up Poor quality of university VCs Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Sweet news for TN sugar mills A glass full of corruption Protest masters... Rahman at CIC Breaththrough in malaria control Should we change the official year? Funding the un-funded Kinetic Karnataka Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik Where is Rajaji? Contrarian cousins Revive development banks... Plummeting profits of PSBs Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Polls and promises Silver Years of Madras Musings Roaring Ro-Ro facility The Gulf aviation boom GNS - 100: our first subscriber Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? TIAM turns a full cycle Delhi is distant… All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya More tributes to GR Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated Secularism and anti-Hinduism Tax agriculture New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… Gay abandon in pricing Why this malaise in medical education? Remembering Indira Sivasailam... TELANGANA at last…BUT ONGC at KG Basin Kulandai was a giant Revving up the manufacturing sector Quality silica from Neyveli Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model When nations steal growth from one another… EVM is tamper-proof Cutting the nose to spite the face Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research How Air-India loses customs... Shipping woes of Chennai companies The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! The Swadeshi Trump S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Pharma – overdose of copying An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Wise Presidents Return to king coal for urea... Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Parliament in paralysis... Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Delhi Chalo... The few handicaps... Why land prices zoom in TN? China invests in India Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy Sri Lanka votes for change Delhi returns to BJP Engineering seats go abegging TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS Readers' Mail Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Marketing expert Balagopal is no more A think tank for Chennai Solar, solar everywhere … West Bengal: mindless malignancy The rise and fall of Annamalai University Auto components surge… Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks Maximising the micro pricing … Tatas moving out of urea production... A proud Madrasi Mersal magnified S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal Five star activism stalls development activity A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Telangana in top gear… Boy, can you beat these? Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Shale gas and its shallow future Tribute – UCAL Selvan… The power-full Hindujas Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Strengthen the base... Paytm karo... IPL type auction for VCs? Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai Tribute – M V Murugappan Demise of a media baron... Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked This scant respect for Law Making ‘my Amaravati’... Where a state respects its litterateurs… Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara The rise and rise of KCP Waning interest in public discussions… L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… The sea- saw battle continues... Russi Mody – a tribute Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines Modi and the lady Towards speedy justice Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Vibrant Gujarat Medical costs hit the roof... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Muffled voices for merit… IAS invades NDDB... A friendly business group When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Fortune for Indian Airlines GM Technology at last! More heat than light A professional at the helm of IRDA... Welcome focus on core competence Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi SoA @ 80 Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Intellectual of rare qualities Tribute The Jan Dhan bonanza PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals The nuclear option Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Banning booze... Road development slows down Things happen by accident and not by design... B H Kothari - a tribute A rich pool of talent not utilised…. EEC at the National Media Centre Which side are you, Montek? Don’t seem to feel the pulse… CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? When small is no larger beautiful.. An inexplicable neglect Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan Build close rapport with business leaders Nuclear power at the nucleus A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science He saved millions from starvation... Align crops to agro climate endowments… Modi storms Silicon Valley Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Welcome GST Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Robber barons everywhere Discoms deserve better… Fortune 500 review Permanent secretariat for TN GIM When online building permits work….
 
A professional at the helm of IRDA...
THE DECISION of Finance Minister P Chidambaram to appoint T S Vijayan as Chairman - IRDA, breathes a lot of fresh air. Vijayan brings with him four decades of experience in life insurance. He had headed LIC with distinction. He can now attend with speed to several of the issues demanding serious reforms.

It required same special effort to break the dominance of the Indian Administrative Service in cornering plum posts post-retirement. But then PC has this in good measure. Incidentally, N Rangachari ( a chartered accountant and an IRS officer) worked hard to formulate the guidelines for regulation and development that led to the establishment of IRDA. Rangachari headed IRDA with distinction and paved the way for opening up the sector for both life and general insurance.

Rangachari’s successors (all retired IAS officers) in their limited tenures, did not show much understanding of the complexities of this highly evolved business. This resulted in intense rate wars and unethical practices that could not be regulated. IRDA has failed to tackle myriad issues. Reforms like increasing the share of foreign investors could not take place. The result: general insurance companies bled, incurring heavy losses on motor and health insurance. For the four PSU companies, profits came from investment income and not from the core business of insurance. This comfort was not available to the private players. In fact a few of these are sitting ducks for acquisition.

Insurance penetration is still low. Nearly twelve years after opening up, there has not been widespread awareness on the need for insurance cover. An estimate puts that a majority of vehicles ply without the mandatory third party insurance cover. The database is weak. Vijayan, one hopes, will focus equally on the development aspects of IRDA as much as on regulation.

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